Recognition of the truth sometimes comes out of strange places and no one could have been more surprised than Mr. Mikoyan that it should have been Mr. Dulles who told him that he, Mikoyan, does not know what Socialism is. But so it happened.
It was at the end of the Russian Deputy Prime Minister's visit to America. When all the dinners and interviews, the speeches and cocktail parties were over, the time came to part. Mr. Mikoyan gave his farewell message to reporters at the airport, and said :—
"Socialist society in our country will develop whether you like it or not, and whether we want it or not. American capitalism is still strong. The conclusion is that we must be tolerant of each other and come to agreement." (Daily Telegraph. 21st January, 1959)
Then came the slap in the eye from Mr. Dulles, in a telegram to Mikoyan :—
"The President is aware that you operate under a system of State capitalism, and he hopes that has been useful to you to have seen the progress of our people under our system of individual capitalism. We are sure that you have found the experience interesting."
(Daily Telegraph, 21st January. 1959.)
We have no doubt that Mr. Mikoyan found it a novel and interesting experience to have his bluff called at top level about the fake "Socialism" of Russia, and bluntly to be told that Dulles sees it for what it really is, "State Capitalism."
May we hope from this beginning that the representatives of all the countries will, at U.N. and other international gatherings, develop the habit of calling State and private capitalism by their proper name everywhere and on all occasions?
And while we are pondering the curious ways in which truth may emerge we should not fail to comment on one little truth Mr. Mikoyan spilled unintentionally. In his own message he said that Socialist society will develop in Russia "whether we" (i.e., Mikoyan and his friends) "want it or not."
We could not have put it better ourselves.